PRIMORDIAL MAN AND UNIVERSAL MANIn the Islamic tradition, the states reached with the ‘small Mysteries’ are those of the primordial Man (el-insân el qadîm), while those states conquered with the ‘great Mysteries’ correspond to the universal Man (el-insân el-kâmil); two terms which correspond respectively to the true Man and the transcendent Man of the Taoism. The two phases of the initiatic process, characterized by the already discussed small and great Mysteries, recall the geometric symbolism described in the booklet of symbolics(1) concerning the Cross, and especially with respect to the ‘horizontal realization‘ (small Mysteries) and to the ‘vertical realization‘ (great Mysteries), the first considered as the basis of the second; the basis, represented in the traditional symbolism by the earth, corresponds to the human dominion, while the super-human realization is indicated in the ascent through the heavens, corresponding to the superior states of the being. An ascension, a celestial journey which is the active conquest: a conquest specified also by Dante Alighieri in canto XX, v. 94 of the ‘Paradise’, who when referring to the Gospels writes: “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence From warm love and from living hope, Which wins the divine will“; Dante recalls a great Christian Mystery expressed by the passage of Matthew, XI, 12: “The kingdom of heaven tolerates to be forced, and the violent conquer it“. “..The Law and the prophets have been until John; since that time the kingdom of God is evangelized, and everyone enters there by force” (Luke, XVI, 16). The Poet paraphrases the concept, saying that the ardent love of the Initiate, his living hope, wins the divine will; certainly not using a superior force as happens when man the prevails (overpowers) on the man, that would be absurd, because there is not and cannot be a man stronger than God, but he wins the will of God because it wants to be won. Other passages confirm this will of God: “To who that wins I will grant to sit with me on my throne” (Apocalypse III, 21). Observe the difference between the Initiates and the religious, but also the strict relationship between the mystical and the initiatic phase, as aspects of one and the same ascensional journey. If we return to the geometrical symbolism of the Cross, the horizontal realization is the presupposition of that vertical. The central point of the cross is the human state from which the direct communication with the superior states is possible, along the vertical axis. The Scriptures indicate the “terrestrial Paradise” as the stage of the way which leads beyond to the “Celestial Paradise“: the Celestial Jerusalem. The small Mysteries, from the traditional point of view, essentially involve knowing the nature, but the great Mysteries are the knowledge of what is beyond the nature. By knowledge, we mean that traditional, which is not the knowledge of the modern science, to be considered profane. In summarizing what we have written until now, the stages of the Initiation necessarily involve a variable hierarchy of grades which, according to ancient terminology, is epitomized in the small and great Mysteries and the Adeptate. That is, three stages of a complete initiation. One of the functions of the small Mysteries is to show to the miste the laws of the becoming, which guide and command the cosmology, and of giving back the primordial state. Preliminary steps, preparation to the great, a purely metaphysical conquest, the preparation of the small Mysteries is obviously made of rites of purification, of travels, of trials, of death, whose objective is to lead the ‘miste’ again to the alchemical prima materia, to the simplicity of the child, who then is able to receive the initiatic illumination. The disharmonic pre-formations must all be eliminated, so that the spiritual light can operate freely. It is, in the language of the Kabbalà, the dissolution of the rind, in the Hermetic jargon, this purification corresponds to the shedding of the metals; metals and rinds are psychic residues of the anterior states from which it is essential to free oneself completely. Without leaving from the Nature, the first trials allow the Initiate to escape from the domination of the senses. With the small Mysteries, the individual is liberated in his spirit from the time and from the multiplicity, but remains man in the Primordial state. The Primordial Man represents, for the initiatic work, the finality and the synthesis of the kingdoms of the nature. To the great Mysteries were, and always are, reserved precise spiritual purposes and the realization of the superior formless states, unconditioned or conditioned, up to the liberation from this world, and the union with the Principle of the whole manifestation: the Universal Man of the Islamic esoterics. In short, that which the traditions call by different names: supreme identity, beatific vision, light of glory. The pretension to communicate with the superior states is justified by the taking possession of an interior treasure which belongs virtually to every endowed individual. The revelation and the inspiration are corresponding gifts which guarantee the existence of these superior states. The third state is of the Adept. It is confirmed, when the virtual state of union with the divinity has been made permanent. This permanence presupposes the Will of God, who wants the identity with the Universal Man, because he has sprang from his Eternal Love. Naturally, all this involves a qualitative jump in the very nature of the I, because the man, from human, must become superhuman, by a process of innermost transmutation. (1) T. Palamidessi- THE WAY OF THE SYMBOLS AND THE SPIRITUAL TRANSMUTATION- Booklet 14.
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